I always get a chuckle, actually every month, when I get the letter from Robert Redford telling me the Pebble Mine's got to be stopped. I don't chuckle because I disagree with the thrust of the message, but I chuckle because it comes every month and the words rarely change. But I must admit, the only reason I am not championing the salmon of Bristol Bay is due to my persistent underemployment (I just simply cannot afford to join another group, though if I had the means that group and others would receive great support from me, I had to drop the Sierra Club due simply to prolonged underemployment, it's a boom/bust cycle here in Valley County, has been since people settled here and likely won't change during my lifetime. So it takes great effort and diligence on my part to stay affiliated with TU, Wilderness Society, Idaho Rivers United and Idaho Conservation League) and the fact that I've hitched my wagon to my currently more imperiled local wild salmon and steelhead, those of the Snake River Basin. But Robert Redford is a champion of salmon. He has lent his name and his fame to the cause and I wish I could back him with more than my words (in spite of the fact that sometimes I string together some pretty good words.)
I get a bigger chuckle when I think back to George W. Bush's statement about mankind and fish. Dubya's mankind and fish can live together in peace statement always makes me laugh. No, unless I missed something, Dubya isn't the fish's MLK Jr., just another gaffe by a guy who apparently failed to realize mankind eats fish on a regular basis.
Regardless of the shortcomings of this author, our wild salmon and steelhead require champions...champions who come from all ranks. Champions who know what to stand up against and know what to do in order to see to it that the interests of wild salmon and steelhead don't fall silent in the marketplace of ideas.
There are new enemies to the survival of salmon that arrive on the scene, it seems almost daily, that have their own promising storylines. Somebody thinks a lot of money can be made if the world simply writes off the environment around Pebble Mine. Others, closer to home, think the same thing about various mining areas here. Then you have those concerned with those macro problems we haven't yet come face to face in a general, sweeping sense, those who want to and have successfully genetically modify salmon to grow protein faster for an ever-growing human population that one day may well suffer more widespread hunger than our current sporadic bouts we see due to the combinations of drought, over population and poor governance.
There are good intentions to be found in the storyline of just about any venture, but it is typically what is downplayed that we really need to focus on. That is why our wild salmon and steelhead need champions. We need them in all walks of life because wild salmon and steelhead don't have these champions they surely will go extinct at our hands.
My advice, seek out what some champions of salmon are doing and saying and feel free to repeat what they are saying and doing until you get the hang of it yourself. Save Our Wild Salmon, Idaho Rivers United and Bert Bowler are good places to start. Search them out with your choice of internet search engine and rinse and repeat.